02 SEP 2019

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Suppose you ordered a pizza online. One hour has passed, you’re hungry, and the pizza has not yet arrived. Out of frustration, you cancel your order because the pizza delivery boy is nowhere to be seen. What do the rules say when you want your money back, or you want to cancel an order because its taking forever to arrive?

Scenario A: The goods you ordered arrived late, and you no longer want to accept them

If the product you ordered was perishable (like pizza), retail rules say you can’t reject it when it reaches your doorstep, no matter how long it took to get there. Although the Consumer Rights Act of 2015 says that a retailer or seller needs to send you the goods “without undue delay,” the law defines “late” as after 30 days. Even after 30 days have passed, you still have to give the retailer more time to deliver your item. Consumer rights advocates have blasted this provision as being too lenient on retailers, but until it’s amended, this law stays. The retailer or courier can even come up with excuses that will turn “undue” into “unavoidable.”

Thus, you can only get a refund or refuse to accept the goods if they sustained damage or loss of quality as a result of their late arrival. For example, if the pizza you ordered became spoiled because it took the company half a day to deliver it, you can ask for your money back or refuse to accept it. Even then, you will have to prove what happened first.


You will have to gather all the evidence that will show that the product was ruined because it was delivered late. Write a complaint letter to the seller and attach copies of any evidence you gathered as proof. You can decide to sue the retailer and the courier if you have enough evidence of their negligence.

If the seller coursed the product through a third-party courier, that could further complicate matters. Review the terms of your purchase agreement and see who’s responsible for what. If the terms of your purchase explicitly state that you waived liability or refund claims by willingly allowing a third-party courier to transport the product for you, you have no choice. You must accept the product and pay for it. In some cases, you may also have to pay the postage to return the late goods.

Scenario B: The goods haven’t arrived and you’re tired of waiting, or you changed your mind

If you haven’t received the goods that you ordered over the phone, via email, or online, and it feels like you’ve been waiting forever, you can cancel your order. However, you must make sure to do so within 14 days after you placed your order. The Consumer Contracts Regulations gives you the right to cancel a late order that hasn’t arrived on your doorstep. Upon the retailer’s acknowledgment, you are entitled to a refund. This covers the price of what you ordered, as well as the full delivery costs and other extras such as VAT.


Simply send a written message to the retailer stating your intent to cancel, and make sure you do so within 14 days from the day you made the order. Make sure that they received your message and take note of the date and time they acknowledged your cancellation. You will use this information as a basis to turn back any goods that may arrive on your doorstep even after you cancel your order. However, you might have to pay the cost of returning the item to the seller, unless they offer free returns.

If you’re looking to learn more about how you can claim compensation, Consumer Reclaimers is

your best option. Get in touch with us today to see how we can help you.

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